U.S. Weekend Box Office Round Up Fri 10 – Sun 12 Aug, 2018

It’s a pretty good news weekend all in all over in the U.S. as Warner Bros.’ The Meg (4,118 screens) is set to come in at circa $40.7m on a hefty $9,883 screen average. That’s well about the industry forecast of mid to low $20m that was being thrown about the place all week. The U.S./Chinese co-production, which has a rumoured budget in the whopping north-of $150m range, benefited from a PG-13 rating, meaning all the teenagers could go along without mum and dad. In spite of both the director Jon Turtletaub and star Jason Statham coming out and saying the final film isn’t what they signed up for, the film exceeded expectations.

The Meg is the highest grossing horror in the water release in 21 years since Warner Bros/VRP’s schlocker Deep Blue Sea opened to $19.1m in 1997. To adjust that figure in 2018 terms, it’s roughly $29.98m, which puts The Meg 35% ahead of it. It’s also smashed Sony’s 2016 effort The Shallows by 142%, as that opened to $16.8m and had a life of $55.1m (we should also note that The Shallows only cost $17m to produce).

Given such a strong opening, it’d be fair to say that The Meg is going to perform like a genre film and drop sharply next weekend and should come in about 55-60% off from this, which will position the film at the $70m mark at the end of the 2nd weekend. That puts the final flag near the $100m mark domestically.

Internationally, all eyes will be on China to see how much heft it can bring. It also opened this weekend and is on track for a $40m opening there and the hope will be that the film can buck the trend of the genre split of US/International of 50/50 to push up its final flag to a $400m resting place which, as Deadline suggests, is:

 …if The Meg gets to around $400M worldwide it could potentially breakeven, and that’s because of the pic’s favorable structure with regards to the China box office.

You’d expect critics to rip the innards out of a gimmick film like that, but they weren’t as savage as expected landing on 50% rotten. Audiences are also fairly kind with this awarding it a B+ Cinemascore. That might translate into a stronger second weekend hold… You just never know!

Mission: Impossible – Fallout (3,888 screens) slips 45% in weekend 3 for $19.2m on a $4,938 screen average to bring the domestic haul to $161.2m and with it, the film has now outgrossed Mission: Impossible III (unadjusted) with it’s eyes firmly locked on a north of $200m domestic result, it’ll surpass Mission: Impossible ($181m – unadjusted) this week, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($195m) in the next fortnight, and should come to rest around the $210m, making it line ball with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘s $209m finish in 2014. Globally, the film is nudging $400m. Just waiting for the announcement of Mission: Impossible – Seventh Heaven.

Christopher Robin (3,602 screens) slips 49% in weekend 2 for a $12.6m gross on a $3,498 screen average to bring the domestic haul to $50.2m. Disney know their audience with a product like this, as this will be earning throughout the weekdays whilst the kiddies are on holidays and there’s nothing to do. Out of everything that’s on wide release, it’s the safest and most ‘wholesome’ of the new content so, even though that screen average is looking low, this will still be turning tickets through the week just as solidly. This will nudge $90m.

Slender Man (2,358 screens). From gimmick meme to gimmick movie, Slender Man arrives with a $10.8m opening on a modest $4,580 screen average. A rumoured $28-$30m budget on the picture, which suffered a release date delay in the U.S. (this was meant to go out in May but Sony pushed it back to here – never a good sign of faith if you’re taken from the front of Summer to its arse end, people), was mauled by critics who slammed it with 15% rotten. Given that opening, it should push to a $25m finish with ancillary international markets much slimmer. This will work better on home entertainment.

Blackkklansman (1,512 screens) smashes a $9.9m opening weekend on a solid $6,547 screen average and lands Spike Lee his best opening since 2006’s Inside Man took $29m. It also won the amorous praise of critics who awarded it 97% fresh and mark it as a return to form for the auteur. With a $15m production budget, this is going to be a healthy earner for Focus Features and should have a fairly robust theatrical life in the vicinity of $45-$50m. That is, if the studio doesn’t try and expand too hard and fast.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (3,111 screens) dips 48% in weekend 2 for a $6.4m gross on a $2,057 screen average to bring the domestic haul to $24.3m. It’s a disappointing result for the $40m budgeted comedy action flick which, based on that screen average, is looking to finish up around the $38m mark.

Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again (2,812 screens) belts out $5.4m in box office for weekend 4, off 40% from last weekend, on a $1,920 screen average. Getting down to the wire now for the ABBAgasm as the domestic gross crosses $103.4m. The final finish line now looking at the $112-$115m mark, it’ll come in 20% off the pace from the original’s $144m domestic haul. Still, on a $70m budget, the film has grossed $250m globally and is a it any way you look at it!

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2,589 screens) takes $5.1m in weekend 5, off 36% from last weekend, on a $1,970 screen average. With $146.8m in the kitty so far, this will out gross the original film’s $148m domestic cume imminently, and we’re on track for a $160m finish. Come on, Sony, just announced the fourth instalment already!

The Equalizer 2 (2,373 screens) slips 41% in weekend 4 for a $5.1m gross on a $2,149 screen average to bring the domestic haul to $89.2m. This is going to limp to $100m+ and come in exactly like the original film’s $101.5m. This release, truly, has been the most parallel to its predecessor I’ve ever seen perform at the box office.

Ant-Man and the Wasp (1,863 screens) nibbles $4.2m in weekend 6, off 34%, on a $2,254 screen average. With $203.6m in the domestic kitty and a $210m finish in sight, the film will claim the 15th highest grossing domestic release for Marvel, knocking off Thor: The Dark World‘s $206m claim to that position. Globally the film is about to knock $440m.

In Cinemas Friday 17 August, 2018 – Crazy Rich Asians (15 Aug), Alpha, Mile 22, Juliet Naked, The Wife

Figures from Deadline